People News: JUNO, Radisson Blu Mall of America, Destination Colorado and More Make Promotions, Fill Teams
In their quest for recovery and growth, event technology providers, CVBs, hotels and other event-related organizations have been busily tapping new executives as well as filling director and management positions with experienced professionals. Check out all the hard-working individuals moving up in the corporate events industry across the U.S. this month!
Corresponding with its Community solution expansion, digital engagement platform JUNO has promoted event, community and relationship-building expert Megan Martin to director of engagement. In this newly created, multi-faceted role, Martin will serve as a strategic consultant for clients, partnering with them to successfully build best-in-class communities and practices for their brands, grow engagement and increase member value.
A former president of PCMA’s Rocky Mountain Chapter and this year’s Visionary Award Winner for Outstanding Service to a Chapter, Martin previously served in a sales capacity for JUNO. She boasts many years of experience as an event director, manager and planner for a variety of organizations.
Radisson Blu Mall of America
Kate Anastasi has been promoted to director of sales and marketing at Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., responsible for overseeing all sales and marketing initiatives, growing the group and catering business and overseeing the development of the sales and marketing team. She most recently served as the hotel’s assistant director of sales and marketing.
During her eight years as a member of the sales and marketing team, Anastasi has been instrumental in the creation and implementation of several new guest offerings, including the development of several on-trend hotel packages for guests and most recently spearheading the creation of the hotel’s new Wellness Rooms with lululemon’s MIRROR. She was also the winner of the 2021 Radisson Blu Manager of the Year award and enjoys leading the sales and marketing team in giving back to the local community by supporting a variety of local non-profits and community events.
Destination Colorado has chosen 35-year hospitality and tourism veteran Marie Huston as its association manager. Huston participated as a member in numerous Destination Colorado events while working as a senior group sales manager for Snow Mountain Ranch/YMCA of the Rockies, where she worked for 11 years.
Prior to that, Huston and her husband owned and operated Carlos & Maria’s (aka Chuck & Marie’s) Mexican Restaurant in Winter Park for 12 years following her sales management roles at two Colorado hotel properties. She’s been a member of the Winter Park Marketing Council and has served on the Grand County Tourism Board.
Integrated B2B media and information services company Questex recently welcomed event and hospitality executive Akshar Patel as senior director of events and strategy, hotel operations. In this role, Patel is responsible for Questex’s hotel operation events, including Hotel ROI and the Hotec portfolio of hosted buyer meetings, as well as the growth of the portfolio through acquisition, partnerships and organic initiatives.
With nearly 20 years of experience in leadership, event strategy and business operations under his belt, Patel joins Questex with a proven track record of successfully delivering large-scale live and virtual events and trade shows. Most recently, he served as vice president of conventions and events and as a member of the executive leadership team with the Asian American Hotel Operators Association (AAHOA), where he managed the world’s largest hospitality convention and trade show, a portfolio of more than 150 hospitality events, as well as virtual and hybrid events.
Earlier in his career, Patel managed events for large associations and agencies, as well as InterContinental the Willard Hotel Washington, D.C., and was also an advisory board member for Shepard Exposition Services.
Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau named Joele Brew Hatton its new director of national accounts, responsible for supporting the CVB’s executive sales team’s efforts and operations as well as assisting in strategy development and implementation.
An accomplished and award-winning hospitality sales professional with over 15 years of experience, Hatton most recently served as associate director of sales for the Omni Dallas Hotel. Prior to that, she served in positions of increasing trajectory with the Omni Fort Worth Hotel.
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, an award-winning AAA Four-Diamond resort in southeastern Wisconsin, owned and managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, has appointed two new managers: Eric Grimm as resort manager and Thor Holm as director of spa.
Prior to joining Grand Geneva’s management team, Grimm was the general manager of the Sheraton Detroit, and before that, he served as director of operations for Marcus Hotels & Resorts for more than four years at what is now the St. Kate Hotel and Mason Street Grill in Milwaukee. In his new role, Grimm has returned to Wisconsin to manage and oversee Grand Geneva Resort & Spa and its accommodations, restaurants, bars, lounges and facilities.
A veteran of spa, wellness and fitness management, Holm has more than 33 years of industry experience in spa and recreation management and operations. He has held general manager roles for the Beale Group, Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary and was director of spa at the Hammock Beach Resort & Spa. He currently serves as president of the Green Spa Network Board of Directors. Holm will manage Grand Geneva’s WELL SPA + Salon as well as the resort’s fitness center and activities.
Visit Reno Tahoe
Visit Reno Tahoe promoted Trent LaFerriere to vice president of facilities, responsible for budgeting, operations, staffing, maintenance, safety, compliance and capital expenditures of Reno-Sparks Convention Center, National Bowling Stadium, Reno Events Center and Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center, as well as overseeing the management agreement with Aramark, which was recently awarded the food services contract for the facilities.
LaFerriere’s elevated role follows more than 18 years working in management, maintenance and operations at the four CVB-managed facilities. An employee since 2004, he has served in numerous capacities, including as facility operations manager, senior project manager and senior facilities manager of all four facilities, and as engineering supervisor and building engineer for National Bowling Stadium and Reno Events Center.
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